At In The Wild Yacht Charters we encourage “green travel” when possible while you sailing the wild blue. What does that mean exactly? It starts with consciousness about the impact or footprint you are having on the environment when you vacation and then doing what you can to counteract or lessen your affect.
Sailing vacations and eco-tours can be among the most green of your island hopping dreams. Why? Well, your transportation is powered by the Wind naturally. And, now many yacht charters are going even more green by adding solar and wind power to run the yachts electrical needs as well as following other environmentally friendly practices. There is even a green initiatives sections on our yacht charter brochures under the specifications section. You can do a Crewed Yacht Search to see the crews green actions.
We also do our part in two ways; firstly we promote eco-friendly yachting behaviors in the charter industry, and secondly, we donate to ocean conservation organizations. Currently, we are donating to Ocean Conservancy and Reef Check. We encourage you to do your part in these ways as well. The ocean environment gives us so so much, it is respectful for us to give back and work at protecting pristine charter destinations.
There are many ways that you can lessen your footprint while on your charter vacation.
As a traveler you always have the opportunity to make choices in how you impact the areas you visit. A yacht charter vacation can certainly be a much more environmentally friendly vacation than many others. However, a lot depends on the type of yacht you choose and how conscientious you are as guests in any ecosystem.
It is wonderful to charter a mega motor yacht, but if you do so, consider doing something to erase the carbon footprint you created with use of fossil fuels by donating to environmental organizations or buying alternative energy points.
If you want to encourage the most eco-friendly charters, consider the following:
Carbon footprint: Renting a power boat or sail boat that runs its generators all the time or all night for air-conditioning creates pollution. Granted, not as much as a giant diesel cruise ship, but do consider a yacht designed with natural ventilation in mind that is not dependent on air conditioning for comfort. After all, part of the pleasure of sailing is plenty of fresh air. Why close all the windows and filter that clean air through a particle collecting devise, unless it is absolutely necessary. Usually, yachts will anchor in comfortable bays and you will not need AC. However, there are those times when your comfort must have the cooled air. So go ahead and use that AC, but try to make up for it by doing other eco-friendly things while on your holiday.
Alternative energy systems: Several boats are now installing wind generators and solar panels to charge boat systems, which can also offset that AC use. These help minimize the time required to run engines to charge batteries. Boats with 12V refrigeration systems can at least use solar and wind to assist in the running of their refrigeration systems. Many production boats have very poorly insulated refrigerators hence increasing the time needed to run or cool them down.
Controlling garbage: Garbage disposal on islands, can be tricky and usually ends up in landfills that impact the beauty of the environment you came to enjoy not destroy. Often there are no recycling facilities in the islands due to the expense of shipping. Consider this when you purchase things that have excess packaging.
We encourage crew and bareboaters to bring their own shopping bags for provisioning instead of collecting plastic from the store. Also, instead of buying cases of water in plastic bottles consider buying one souvenir plastic cup for each person aboard. If there is a water maker on board and the water is filtered, it is quite drinkable. Otherwise, buy at least gallon jugs of water so that you use less plastic, which has a large carbon footprint as they need to be shipped from afar. Many crewed charter yachts give you your own refillable water bottles for the charter, often with their logo, that you can then take home as a souvenir. If they do not provide this, go find your own and request no plastic throw away bottles for your charter.
Garbage Disposal: It is against MARPOL agreements to throw garbage including food overboard. It is also considered detrimental to encourage fish to eat disposed of food for various reasons not the least being that they actually can’t use “our” food properly. Just as we don’t feed wild animals in national parks -we should NOT be feeding fish either by disposing of our scraps overboard or by attracting fish through feeding while snorkeling. Please do not throw food over board and if you see anyone doing it, remind them of the detrimental affects it has on wild life.
Never throw cigarette butts in the ocean or on beaches. They may appear small and insignificant to us, but they are deadly to sea creatures. Turtles, for example, are known to eat the butts and have turned up dead with their stomachs torn up by the fiberglass shreds. Do you really want to be responsible for taking the life of sea creatures you came to enjoy?
Water Toys: While fuel driven water sports can be loads of fun, they do use up carbon credits and can cause noise pollution, so be considerate in their use and opt for yachts that have 4-stroke outboard engines, which use less fuel and expel much less carbon into the air than 2-strokes. There are many water toys available that do not use fossil fuel: kayak, sailing dinghy, windsurfer, snorkel gear, floating mats, etc.
Respect Nature: Observe the natural beauty without damaging it. Always check for garbage before leaving an island. Be very careful when snorkeling and diving coral reefs. Don’t touch anything, not only for your safety, but for the protection of the life forms. One kick of your fins can kill hundreds of years of coral growth, so keep your body horizontal when swimming, with fins towards the surface. It is easy not to realize your fins are touching things because they are not part of your body. So be careful!
Choose Sustainable Seafood: Many fisheries worldwide are about to collapse and many fish species are seriously endangered so chefs should take into account what they are serving. Information on sustainable seafood products is available at Ocean Conservancy. Whether you are choosing your own fish or are requesting fish from your private chef, please consider how sustainable the species and fisheries are.
The best fish to eat is generally, locally caught migratory species, not reef fish. Species such as tuna and mahi mahi are usually a good bet. Anything imported has a carbon footprint and much of the farm raised fish around the world causes destruction of important mangrove ecosystems (which incidentally led to greater damage to shorelines with the Indonesian Tsunami), or cause detrimental introduction of disease or invasive species. Catching local fish right from your yacht, is more eco-friendly, healthy and tasty then anything frozen and shipped.
Speak to a charter broker 888-730-SAIL (7245)